The Prophet's Last Sermon

This Sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H in the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat.

"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don't know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (Interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for your safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have right over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to commit adultery.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. You are all equal. Nobody has superiority over other except by piety and good action.

Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people."

The farewell pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) may rightly be called the culminating point in his prophetic career. It was the sixty-third year of the Prophet's life which coincided with the close of the 10th of Hijra that he decided to perform Hajj, which in history goes by the name of Hajjah-tul-Wada. The Prophet's mission had by this time been completed to all intents and purposes. To a people steeped in ignorance, he brought light and inspiration with the belief in Allah, the sole Creator, Master and Sustainer of the Universe.

The completion of his mission implied his departure from his earthly home to his heavenly abode. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had clearly visualized it. He therefore, decided to give the final touch to his massive work and imprint its salient points on the minds and hearts of his devoted followers so they might always keep before them the system of life-values encompassed by Islam.

Five days before Dhu al-Hijjah, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) dressed in pilgrim's garb and set out to Mecca with more than 114,000 Muslims. All of his wives accompanied him. As he rode, he recited, "Labbaik", signifying, "Here I am at Thy service, here I am, O Lord, here I am to declare that there is no partner with Thee. All praise and blessings belong to Thee and all sovereignty is Thine. I am here at Thy service, and Thou hast no partner, O Allah." As the Holy Prophet recited the above call, his companions repeated the same.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) reached Mecca on the 5th of Dhu-al-Hijjah. He made seven circuits of the Ka'ba, offered two rak'ats of prayer at the "station of Abraham" and climbing the Mount of Safa declared, "There is no God but Allah, He has no partner, all sovereignty and praise belong to Him. He gives life and brings death. He is All-Powerful and Supreme over everything". On the 8th of Dhu-al-Hijjah, the Prophet (PBUH) left with his companions for Mina and passed the night there. On the 9th after the morning prayer, he proceeded to Arafat where he delivered the famous sermon which we have the honor to present in these pages.

The sermon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not only remarkable for its eloquence, but also for its sublime message for all of mankind. Every word of it breathes magnanimity and aims at establishing righteousness and fair dealing among man on a workable basis. It establishes brotherhood among Muslims irrespective of the divergences, of their geographical, racial and color backgrounds. It provides an outline for a social order perfectly free from oppression and injustice.


The Islamic Bulletin
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May / June 1998
Muharram 1419
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